Altrincham Football Club News Archive
14 to 18 February 2005

18 February 2005


For tomorrow at Kettering, Alty are without the suspended Aspinall, Potts and Mitten. Eddie Hussin will have a fitness test on Saturday following his knock in the Trophy against Barrow. Rod Thornley (right) has had flu and may also be a doubt but there is a possibility that Chris Adams may be back in the squad as his injury has been diagnosed as a hamstring rather than hernia problem. Graham Heathcote has signed Kirk Hilton, a former Manchester United first-team squad member, who is a left-back/midfielder. He is recovering from a cartilage operation in December and has a run out for the Reserves tonight to determine his fitness to be in the squad tomorrow. Also on stand-by is left-sided Reserve and former Youth teamer, Danny Grimshaw.

Flixton-born Kirk Hilton (23) played for Alty Reserves against Marine in October after returning from a spell in the USA. He joined Man. United in 1997 and spent 2001-02 season with their associate club, Royal Antwerp, in Belgium. In 2002/03 he went on loan to Scottish side Livingston. In late May 2003 he left Old Trafford for Blackpool on a free transfer and in September 2004 moved on to Halifax Town, also on a free transfer.

Kirk played against Alty for a Manchester United XI in July 2002 and has also played for United Reserves in their league games at Moss Lane.


Despite their financial and ground problems (see below under Nationwide North heading), Runcorn FC Halton have signed Radcliffe Borough striker Phil Denney. The Non-League Daily reports that "Former Ashton United striker Denney has failed to figure on a regular basis [at Radcliffe] recently and had been made available by the club, with Runcorn stepping in to secure his services". Alty play Runcorn next Tuesday at Moss Lane.


Today's NL Paper quotes Alty's Colin Little: "We are falling behind in our fixtures due to our Trophy run but you can't complain when you are doing well in the league and cup... The results are more important than the performance at this stage. We have to get something on Saturday to keep in touch. It's going to be a difficult game; Kettering have been around the top five all season". More on the game, below...


The Youth team's league table has been updated in the Youth section. Alty Reserves play away at Southport today.


Altrincham are away at Kettering on Saturday and Rockingham Road has not been a happy hunting ground in the last nine league visits. Altrincham's last league win at Kettering was as far back as 1988-89, when we won 1-0. Since then we have lost 0-3, drawn 1-1, lost 5-0, drawn 1-1, lost 1-0, drawn 2-2, lost 4-2, lost 3-1, drawn 0-0, i.e. 4 draws and 5 defeats. But our most recent trip was in the FA Trophy 3rd round on 14.1.03 when we drew 1-1 thanks to a rare Chris Adams goal in front of 1072 fans. In the replay, the game ended 3-3 (Shuttleworth 35 (pen), Smith 40, Murphy 44) but Alty won 5-3 on penalties, converted by Craney, Shuttleworth, Adams, Burke and Maddox. Mark's penalty is shown above, courtesy of Alan Johnson's camera.

Alty lie 3rd in the form guide over the last 6 league games, and Kettering are 2nd. The Robins are unbeaten in their last 8 league games and last 13 matches in all competitions. Kettering are the best supported club in the league with an average home gate of 937.


Alty meet Grays Athletic in the Trophy on Saturday week. Grays have three players suspended for the game. They are Jamie Stuart, Dean Brennan and Gavin Heeroo. Heeroo, a 20 year-old midfielder, was to be suspended for next week's midweek game but that game has been postponed. Stuart (28) is a defender who joined from Hornchurch FC and is a former England U21 International. Brennan (24) is a midfielder, whose former clubs include Stockport County. In this week's non-league international, Grays Athletic midfielder Stuart Thurgood scored the first goal in a 3-0 win over Holland.


STAR Director, Jon Stack, writes:

To all Slim4alty sponsored slimmers,

The final weigh in for Slim4alty is approaching, and STAR hopes that your sponsored slim has been going well since the event started back on New Year’s Day. The final weigh in for the public slimmers will be taking place on February 26th in the Noel White Suite at 7pm, after our fifth round FA Trophy tie with Grays Athletic, and before the Club’s Famous Five night, which takes place in the Sponsors’ Lounge from 7.30pm.

We’ll be calculating who has come out as the prize winner in the public slimmers’ contest at the weigh-in, so if you can’t attend please can you weigh yourself either on or just before February 26th and contact Jon Stack direct on 01827 64471 or via email on with your weight. Private slimmers should also contact Jon with their weight on, or just before, this day, and Jon will then be able to calculate which slimmer wins the prize of gym membership from the private slimmers. Of course, if you’re slimming in private, your weight will be kept entirely confidential.

Having completed slim4alty, please can you collect the money from your sponsors and forward to Jon Stack by cheque, payable to 'STAR', c/o Altrincham Football Club, Moss Lane, Altrincham, Cheshire WA15 8AP? STAR would like to thank all slimmers for taking part: we really appreciate the efforts you have made and the generosity of your sponsors, and we believe, from all accounts so far, that slim4alty will raise a significant amount for STAR and Altrincham Football Club.

If you have any questions at all, then please so do not hesitate to contact Jon Stack on the numbers above, and STAR would like to wish you all the very best for the last few days of the sponsored slim.


"Alfreton Town chairman Wayne Bradley branded Tuesday night’s showing in a 4-0 defeat at Hucknall Town as totally unacceptable... Bradley said: 'These are basically the same players who got us to the top of Nationwide North and kept the club there for weeks on end. The same players who got us to the first round of the FA Cup and got us on a run in the FA Trophy. The display at Hucknall was totally unacceptable. The players are paid good money, they are well looked after and everyone connected with the club expects far better'. Bradley spoke to [manager] David Lloyd after the mauling and told him in no uncertain terms that performances and results must improve, starting with this Saturday’s trip to Nuneaton Borough. Bradley went on: 'There was only one team committed and one team with the right desire to win the match. It wasn’t us... I told David that the players are cheating him with performances like that... I have a theory that the players might be thinking if we went up they wouldn’t be good enough for the Conference National and they wouldn’t be retained for next season. Well, results since the turn of the new year show they aren’t good enough for Conference North at the moment'"

Southport says that "Contrary to some reports, Southport boss Watson could seal the signing of Runcorn’s Matthew McGinn this week". From the same site: "Southport want Lancaster City's number one goalkeeper Jamie Speare at Haig Avenue. The Conference North leaders have put in seven days notice... Sandgrounders' boss Liam Watson said: 'We've made an approach to Lancaster because I'd love to see Jamie Speare at Haig Avenue. I played with Jamie at Accrington Stanley and I know he is a very fine goalkeeper and a great character who would provide a real edge for extra competition... We've a fine goalkeeper, Steve Dickinson... but I don't want anyone having an easy ride here'".

IC Cheshire reports how Vauxhall lost 1-2 to Runcorn in midweek after "floodlight failure caused a 20-minute break in play... And just as the hosts were coming back into the contest, striker Karl O'Donnell, their most potent threat, was stretchered off forcing them to go down to 10 men as all three substitutes had already been used. Manager Owen Brown said: 'Karl's injury was symptomatic of our season. Whenever we try and do something, somebody seems to get injured, shot or beaten up'".

"Halton Borough Council say Runcorn FC has not settled its outstanding debt for use of the stadium and the authority is therefore left with 'no alternative' but to look for a new tenant for 2005-06 and beyond. A council spokesperson told the Weekly News: 'The club was invited by the council to propose a solution to meet its outstanding debt to the council and its current financial situation - to date the club has presented no sensible proposals to the council. Consequently, the council has terminated the club's long-term agreement to use Halton Stadium. The council is prepared to make Halton Stadium available to the club until the end of the current season on a pay as-you-play basis". LIST, Runcorn's Trust say that "Witton Albion can host Runcorn in the immediate future and Pavilions are happy to provide the club with a future point of return". Spokesman Martin Fallon "says, as a non-profit making group, the Trust could lease Pavilions and apply for funding to upgrade facilities so the Linnets can play there". IC Cheshire also reports that Runcorn FC Halton chairman "Dr Dave Robertson has admitted Saturday's home game against Hinckley United is 'likely' to be their last at Halton Stadium. He says in the absence of any major investment, the Linnets can no longer afford to play at the stadium. Where the club goes from here both in the short and long term is uncertain... The Linnets have not yet secured an alternative venue to complete this season. Witton Albion's Wincham Park remains favourite as the club are said to be willing to accommodate Runcorn, who are understood to owe the council about £9,000. This is January's £6,000 rent plus rental for the only February home game so far... Prescot Cables or Warrington Town would seem other alternative destinations to see out the 2004-05 campaign". Dr Robertson added, "There is still a question mark over the future of the club... The club is formally going to make contact with a range of clubs and owners of appropriate facilities that meet the standard and take up further discussions with the Conference. If we move away and don't have a natural place to return to within a specified time then we could be treated as if we were a new side and have to start again".

Elsewhere Nuneaton Borough's plans for a "new stadium merger with Nuneaton Rugby Club" are here, whilst Stafford Rangers's website has details of their planned improvements.

17 February 2005


Alty Youth have a fixture change this Sunday; click here for details.


Former Alty youth players Mark Drew and Lee Shillito both started for Leigh on Tuesday v Northwich, with Drew being booked. Another ex-Alty youth, Ian Taylor was a used sub. Peter Band played for the Vics. Elsewhere, Peter Wright scored for Bamber Brdige as they lost to Prescot Cables.


"A poor display by Alfreton Town was punished to the full as they crashed to their heaviest defeat of the season in a 4-0 mauling at local derby rivals Hucknall Town on Tuesday night... The Reds also had four booked. The manner of the defeat leaves much to reflect on before the next outing this Saturday at second-placed Nuneaton" reports their website.

Another club whose manager is mulling over recent results is Lancaster City where Phil Wilson said, "We have been very disappointing in our games against Altrincham and Alfreton, however in both games we had very good chances to score goals... After a lot of work in training on Thursday we got our just rewards against Moor Green with a very good performance from the players. The difference in this game was that we took our chances... Against Alfreton I was very disappointed with the surface, it was very bumpy and very difficult to play football on. I am not making excuses about the result, we lost fair and square... The small number of helpers do a great job for the club and now we will have extra help for the pitch and the Vice Chairman has told me that we are aiming to improve the surface. This can only be good for the team".

Nuneaton Borough's website announces "the appointment of Clair Finnigan as Managing Director of the Football Club. Clair will now assume responsibility for the complete day-to-day running of the Club".

The Southport Midweek Visiter quotes Port manager Liam Watson on the win over Droylsden; "I was not happy with our performance in the first half, one or two players weren't at the races... We saw the real Southport in the second half. All three goals were top draw. It was a massive win for us... What I am delighted with is we are on my pre-season aim of two points per match. Hitting 80 is my next target". The paper adds that "Watson is expecting to conclude the signing of Matty McGinn from Runcorn in the next few days and has also identified another player with Premiership Reserve experience".

"Martyn Forrest turned down a move to Worcester City, after initially agreeing to a move that would have more than trebled his current monies at Radcliffe Borough. Boro manager Kevin Glendon explained: 'I received a call from Martyn asking me if the offer I made him on behalf of the club still stood as he had had a rethink and decided not to move, stating he was really enjoying his football again at the club and was settled'" reports the club website.

NL Daily reports that Nuneaton manager, Roger Ashby's son Nick Ashby "has taken on his first managerial role... [at] Raunds Town as player-manager".

The NW Evening Mail says that Barrow "boss Lee Turnbull believes he’s now reaping the rewards of sticking by defender James Cotterill. The centre-half was considered the weak link in Barrow’s back four during the early part of the season. That reached a head in August when Turnbull gave him a month to save his career at Holker Street. But his response has been positive and in the last few games Cotterill has looked more like the player he was before being sidelined by a cruciate ligament injury... In October he signed non-contract forms with Frickley Athletic, while he later rejected a switch to Guiseley".

"Ashton United chairman Tony Ryan is hoping new boss Paul Futcher’s ‘experience’ will help the club in their battle to remain in Conference North" says the Tameside Advertiser. "Although Futcher has not been actively involved in the non-league scene, he has been working as a coach educator for the FA and Hallamshire County FA and on Leeds United’s community projects. The Holmfirth-based boss... has appointed ex-Stalybridge Celtic number two Gerry Luczka as his assistant. Futcher is flying back on Thursday from a holiday in Spain to take training... Mr Ryan said: 'I appointed Andy and wanted it to work but it was obvious we needed to bring new players in'.

"Droylsden chief Dave Pace is refusing to write off his side’s hopes of landing the Conference North title despite defeat at Southport... He said: 'I’ll never say it’s over until it’s mathematically impossible... We needed to win on Saturday but... three or four of my better players didn’t perform and will find themselves on the bench'". New signing Robbie Talbot "may be joined by Carl Ruffer who is in talks over a return to the Butcher’s Arms having played there on loan last season. Pace added: 'I’m speaking to Jim Harvey at Morecambe with a view to possibly bringing Carl in, he wants to come but whether it will be done for Saturday I don’t know'".

The Advertiser also quotes Stalybridge boss John Reed: "I think we have made great strides in a month and the transformation has been overwhelming, but I’m not satisfied... We have to swap the central defenders around because we are struggling in that department and I’m still trying to bring people in. We have had three or four partnerships that have not worked and that’s the key concern to myself and Mark. Paul Shepherd has a great reputation but his first game was terrible and he was average in the second. He and Sykes have not shored the defence up and Sykes’s last two games have been shocking. Shepherd is a complete footballer but I’m not making excuses, you have to make allowances for the worst pitch in the league... the worst I have seen in the league'".

In This is Redditch United manager Rod Brown says "After we play Ashton on Saturday there's 11 games left and I think if we can win six of them then I believe we'll be in the play-offs... by the end of the season we want to be aiming for 65 points". Brown added "I'm still looking for a striker".

This is Cheshire confirms that "Runcorn face the possibility of a permanent move outside Halton if money can't be found, chairman Dr David Robertson has warned. The club only just managed to raise £3,000 for rent at Halton Stadium two weeks ago after a mystery donor stepped in... The club is still appealing for donations and sponsorship, particularly from local businesses in return for publicity, in their bid to raise the next lot of rent."

"The club is going to have to explore alternatives to Halton Stadium because at the moment we can't generate the significant amounts of cash needed to pay the rent" said chairman Dr Robertson. The article adds that "Exploratory talks are being arranged with The Pavilions into the possibility of a move there. Any building work would take time and a temporary home would be needed. Dr Robertson said the nearest available grounds for a temporary move are at Witton Albion or Prescot - but if the Runcorn return falls through, the move might become permanent. There has been talk over the supporters trust taking over the club".

This is WCFC says that "Worcester City player-manager Andy Preece has targeted James Coates as a potential name to... solve his goalkeeping dilemma. City's number one stopper Danny McDonnell is suspended for Saturday's" game v Vauxhall]. Preece said: "I think it's best to get somebody with a little bit more experience at this level" rather than use young reserve, Lewis Skyers.

16 February 2005


Tonight's Reserves' game against Barrow at Abbey Hey is postponed due to a frozen pitch.


The away game in the Nationwide North against Barrow, on 26 March, has been changed to a 1pm kick-off. This is to avoid a clash with the England international that day.


Right: Colin Little 23 goals in 38 starts this season - and no bookings.

Some statistics from the season so far:

Most Appearances for Altrincham (League & Cup)

  • 38 Steve Aspinall, Colin Little (both 26+12)
  • 36(+1) Colin Potts (26+10[+1])
  • 36 Eddie Hussin (24+12)
  • 35 Stuart Coburn (25+10)
  • 34 Gary Talbot (24+10)
  • 33 Chris Adams (26+7)

    Leading Scorers for Altrincham (League & Cup)

  • 23 Colin Little (11+12)
  • 10 Marcus Hallows (5+5)
  • 9 Colin Potts (8+1)
  • 4 Rod Thornley (4+0), Eddie Hussin (3+1), Steve Aspinall (2+2 all pens)
  • 3 Kieran Lugsden (1+2)

    Most Bookings for Altrincham (League & Cup)

  • 8 Eddie Hussin (right)
  • 5 Mark Maddox, Colin Potts, Steve Aspinall

    Maximum Points Achievable

  • 99 Southport
  • 90 Altrincham
  • 89 Kettering Town
  • 88 Harrogate Town

    Lowest Points Maximum

  • 58 Ashton United
  • 64 Bradford PA
  • 66 Stalybridge Celtic
  • 71 Moor Green


    Preston Today says that Bamber Bridge lost "defender Barry Shuttleworth to a red card following his reaction to a bad tackle by Leek's Ross Clegg" on Saturday.


    "Stafford Rangers have wished Crewe Alexandra's second-string goalkeeper [& ex-Alty loan player] Ben Williams a speedy recovery from his wrist injury. The reason is that Rangers are hoping Dario Gradi will let teenager Stuart Tomlinson return to Marston Road. Tomlinson's loan period was abruptly cut short last week after ten consecutive league and cup appearances for Rangers because of Williams's injury and he was put on the bench at Leicester City last Saturday. By a stroke of good fortune, Rangers player-manager Phil Robinson was able to sign former Shrewsbury, Fulham and Northampton Town goalkeeper Glyn Thompson as replacement... The 25-year-old had been playing in the Danish First Division this summer, but returned home early because his wife is expecting a baby and has recently trialled with Rushden & Diamonds... Rangers have not had the best of luck regarding goalkeepers this season and Thompson was the sixth to wear the number one jersey" reports This is Staffs. Alty meet Stafford on 8 March and Crewe, in the CSC Final, on 16 March.

    IC Coventry reports that "Revitalised Nuneaton Borough sent out a clear message to leaders Southport and other promotion rivals on Saturday - 'under-estimate us at your peril!'... Unbeaten in their last six outings, confident Boro outclassed their Nottinghamshire hosts [Worksop]". Manager Roger Ashby said "It could easily have been five or six".

    15 February 2005


  • Hucknall T. 4 Alfreton T. 0
  • Stalybridge C. 1 Redditch U. 0
  • Vauxhall M. 1 Runcorn FC Halton 2
  • League table


    Altrincham will be without five players at Kettering on Saturday. Right-back Steve Aspinall (right) and right-winger Colin Potts are both suspended for one game whilst Jozzer Mitten continues his five-game ban picked up whilst an Ashton United player. Chris Adams remains sidelined by a groin injury whilst Stephen Rose is still out after his broken leg, though he is now on the road back to fitness.

    Kettering Today says right-back Wayne Diuk, "despite only being 24, is one of the most experienced players at Kettering Town this season following Kevin Wilson's decision to develop a young squad. Diuk and Martin Matthews are the only players left at Rockingham Road from those who won the Dr Martens Premier Division championship three years ago, although Shaun Murray has also returned to try and impress Wilson". Diuk said, despite the heavy home defeat by Southport, "confidence remains very high and we must pick ourselves up for the final push. In some ways we have a point to prove to ourselves because we let a lot of people down in that game... I honestly think we are the best footballing side in the league this season".


    Our Trophy opponents Grays Athletic report that "Mitchell Cole has been called into the final 16 alongside team-mate Stuart Thurgood for the England [semi-pro] international against Holland...on Wednesday".


    Paul Byron, manager of Clitheroe, "was running the rule over three more players in training last week, hoping that he can finally get some new faces settled in to the side... And completing the group is left-footed attacking midfielder Ryan Hutchinson, who was at Chorley at the beginning of the season". reports Clitheroe Today


    Marine report that "Tommy Taylor has left the club and is to sign for Runcorn. Coming back is Ged Courtney who has signed from Runcorn".

    NL Daily says that "Redditch United have issued a hands-off warning over their highly rated wide player Simon Hollis... after Southern League Premier Division neighbours Halesowen Town served an audacious seven-day notice of approach in an attempt to take Hollis... Redditch manager Rod Brown made his position clear when he said: 'Simon’s going nowhere. I rate him as the best right wing-back in the league and he’s already got ten goals this season to prove that'".

    The NW Evening Mail says that Barrow boss "Lee Turnbull is backing Gavin Knight for more goals after his double sank Gainsborough Trinity... 'I’m as pleased as punch for Gav because he’ll be the first to admit that he didn’t endure the best of starts to the season'", said the manager.

    According to the Harrogate Town website "Absent boss Neil Aspin was delighted with Saturday's result against Ashton United, but disappointed to have lost Mark Haran to a potentially lengthy lay off after the defender received an elbow in the face. Haran received hospital treatment after the 53rd minute challenge by Martin Allison, which earned the Ashton player a red card. The Town defender has a suspected depressed fracture of the cheekbone". The manager told Leeds Today "We had a new lad in against Ashton, Steve Baynes from York, but we have lost Mark Barnard through injury at the moment as well... Hopefully before Stafford next Saturday we will have another defender in".

    14 February 2005


    The home league match against Runcorn FC Halton, postponed last Saturday, will now take place at 7.45pm on Tuesday, 22 February 2005.


    The STAR coach times and fares for the trip to Kettering Town this Saturday are now here. The Kettering game is our longest journey and therefore would normally be the most expensive. However, the price for this trip has been reduced by £3 per person due to the high take-up of the STAR travel club this season. STAR and the Football Club would like to thank all those who have used the coaches this season for their support both of the travel club and of the team. The coaches are provided by Go Goodwins and are modern, comfortable vehicles with friendly drivers. They convey a wide range of Altrincham supporters from youngsters to senior citizens so, whatever your age, you will find good company on board. All seats must be booked in advance by contacting the club on 928-1045. And don't forget, it is cheaper if you are a STAR member- for details of how to join see the STAR site.


    When Alty meet Kettering next Saturday at Rockingham Road, it will the Poppies' first competitive game for a month and their 17th home game out of 29 played this season in the league. For Alty it will be the 15th away game out of 27 league matches.

    Through the Years has been updated for Saturday.


    The Pink reveals that Leigh signed Droylsden's Danny Byrne by "nipping in ahead of Altrincham and Ashton United to persuade Dave Pace to part with [the] winger". Meanwhile, Leigh's website reveals that RMI "have allowed Pringle, Scouthern and Houlican to leave the club and Carl Rose left for Tamworth on his own accord". Pringle made his debut v Alty in the Trophy and Scothern was signed after than game.


    After only a month Ashton United report that "It is with regret that after some disappointing results on the pitch, Ashton United have announced that they have parted company with Andy Johnston as the team manager... The Club have also announced that Paul Futcher will be taking over as the Team Manager with immediate effect". Futcher has previous non-league experience as manager of Southport and Stalybridge Celtic.